Monthly Archives: February 2020

An Invitation to be a Panelist on March 4, Brain Injury Awareness Day on the Hill

Today I received my official invitation from Representatives Bill Pascrell and Don Bacon to be a panelist at the Congressional Briefing on March 4, Brain Injury Awareness Day on the Hill.

I accepted and am honored that my perspective and experience, both in surviving and working to speak about the need to educate on how to recognize brain injury and PTSD. Each individual and survival are unique.

The common theme of these experiences is to know what they are so that each can be responded to constructively; each person helped because responders have been taught how.

Fall 2019

Today, as fall comes, I got the good news from Representative Pascrell’s office that the bill has language being drafted! I go for a walk in our bit of Texas fall and listen to the leaves skitter along the street. I’m thinking of the next level being reached and realized, how as this bill moves forward how many people will be protected with its passage, everywhere, the same places brain injury and PTSD can be found, everywhere. How useful and preventive that this can be in the recognition and response to these situations. Just like you can’t see brain trauma or PTSD, no one I say hi to today, knows from seeing me what today’s email means. What matters is that a difference is being made, for what we are, not how we look. Or maybe that’s just my thinking, it seems very related. I crunch a few leaves as I step, glad for progress made.

May 7, 2019

Today I spoke at the Brain Injury Association of Virginia’s annual conference. My session was a late one so I spend the day meeting speakers, vendors, and most importantly, the attendees. I ate with survivors and their family members. The real side of my work is talking about this law from the point of what I experienced and how I am trying to bridge the gap between laws and lives, so that that legislation provides real help for brain injury and PTSD survivors. My words come from an experience they can identify with, or may know someone who has also had misunderstanding and misidentification come from not knowing how these conditions may present and what to do about them.

The attendance was good and the reviews highly positive. I flew home feeling I had listened and spoken to individuals on all levels, individuals to lawmakers, on this topic. There is work still to do, advocating, talking and staying in touch as we move this legislative possibility closer to a federal level.

Washington, May 6, 2019

This is my 2019 trip to Washington DC, this year is a dual purpose trip, to meet with the representatives to check on how the bill to protect survivors of brain trauma and PTSD is faring.

And tomorrow I will speak at the Brain Injury Association of Virginia’s annual conference on both my recovery and my work on this bill growing from the 2015 Texas law, HB 1338, to the national law I’m hoping it to become.

On this trip I met and settled into a detailed conversation with Representative Pascrell’s office after meeting with Representative Hurd’s and John Carter’s office. In Rep. Pascrell’s office we went over the current status of the bill. We had a good meeting, so long I almost missed my train back to Richmond!

Those are the kind of meetings to have. This bill had been studied for language and groups to be included in its intent. Because brain trauma and PTSD survivors are all across our country, it is important that educating and understanding about that are spread that far, too.